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Apple's M1 chip - huge GPU gain over Iris graphics

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#1 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:28 PM

Apple just unveiled three new Macs that will be the first to utilize Apple Silicon: Mac Mini, MacBook Air, 13" Macbook Pro. All three machines use the same M1 chip, but the Mac Mini and MBP have active cooling while the MBA does not.

What is very interesting is the GPU performance numbers that Apple is claiming for their new M1 chip. For graphics Apple is comparing the new 13" MBP with the M1 chip against the previous 13" MBP with the 1.7 GHz quad core i7 and the Iris Plus 645.

Apple is claiming a 2.9x performance increase in Shadow of the Tomb Raider with the new M1 MBP vs the Intel MBP. The fine print of the test is the following:

Quote

Testing conducted by Apple in October 2020 using preproduction 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with Apple M1 chip, as well as production 1.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7‑based 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645, all configured with 16GB RAM and 2TB SSD. Tested with Shadow of the Tomb Raider 1.0.1 using the built-in benchmark, at 1440x900 resolution, with medium settings. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of MacBook Pro.

BareFeats has some benchmarks of the 13" MBP running the same Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark at 1280x800 (slightly lower resolution). The Intel 13" MBP gets 18 fps in that benchmark, so if we apply a 2.9x boost to simulate the M1 chip, we get 52.2 fps. The 16" MBP with the 5500M in the same benchmark gets 66 fps. This puts the 5500M as around 25% faster then the GPU in the M1 chip. It also places the M1 chip as more powerful then the older Radeon GPUs in the previous 15" MBPs such as the 560X and Vega20.

Obviously I have made a lot of extrapolations and assumptions that are certainly not 100% accurate, but we can safely assume that M1 equipped Macs will be very capable of some light gaming at acceptable frame rates.
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#2 nick68k

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:28 PM

HEY GUYZE HOW ABOUT DEM NEW MACS??!?!

Edit: Ah, I see Snake has created a far worthier discussion thread on this very topic. Mods, please delete this one, and salt the earth, so it may never sprout again.
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#3 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:31 PM

we can just merge the threads. My post was more graphics focused, but we should certainly have a general discussion about the machines as a whole.

Edited by the Battle Cat, 10 November 2020 - 01:44 PM.
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#4 Homy

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:42 PM

Intel UHD Graphics 630 in Mac Mini 2018: 3.150 GPixel/s, 25.20 GTexel/s, FP32 403.2 GFLOPS

M1 Mac Mini 2020: 41 GPixel/s, 82 GTexel/s, FP32 2.6 TFLOPS


A12Z FP32 1.1 TFLOPS
Radeon Pro 560X 2.056 TFLOPS
Radeon Pro 5300M 3.2 TFLOPS
Radeon Pro 5300 4.2 TFLOPS
Radeon Pro 580X 5.530 TFLOPS

#5 the Battle Cat

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:48 PM

I'm nabbing one O them fine Mac minis.  My old mid 2010 Mac Pro is gasping for air and unable to update to several MacOSs.  I've been waiting for this mini to drop for a while now, sooooooo happy to see it finally here.
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#6 Janichsan

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:55 PM

I'm withholding my judgement until I've seen some real world benchmarks. There were too many vague comparisons in this presentation which don't mean much without concrete information about against what's being compared here. (For instance, the Mac mini is x-times faster than the "fastest desktop PC"? What's that supposed to be?)

Luckily, we won't have to wait too long for these benchmarks.

Interesting were the inclusion of WiFi 6 and USB/TB 4, and the battery lifetimes. Even taking the usual 20% Apple bullpopsnizzle margin into account, these sound quite impressive.

EDIT: Was it just me or were there noticeable lags and framedrops even in the few carefully selected seconds of gameplay they showed?

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#7 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 01:58 PM

The mini is certainly a fantastic chassis for the new M1 chip to shine. I am very thankful that they decided to include active cooling in the mini as well. Should make for a very nice upgrade over the previous mini, which was quite thermally constrained. $100 price cut + base model having 256GB of storage is very welcome changes. The previous base model only having 128GB of storage was a joke.

View PostJanichsan, on 10 November 2020 - 01:55 PM, said:

I'm withholding my judgement until I've seen some real world benchmarks. There were too many vague comparisons in this presentation which don't mean much without concrete information against what's being compared here. (For instance, the Mac mini is x-times faster than the "fastest desktop PC"? What's that supposed to be?)

Luckily, we won't have to wait too long for these benchmarks.

Interesting were the inclusion of WiFi 6 and USB/TB 4, and the battery lifetimes. Even taking the usual 20% Apple bullpopsnizzle margin into account, these sound quite impressive.

If you go to the product page for the new Macs you can click the "see how M1 redefines speed" button to get actual graphs of the new M1 mini vs the old Intel one. Definitely still wait for 3rd party benchmarks, but much better seeing the graphs then just hearing their marketing speak about its better then some mystery top selling PC.

For graphics, Apple is claiming a 4x GPU increase in SotTR for the M1 over the HD 630 graphics that were in the Mac Mini previously.
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#8 nick68k

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:07 PM

Press release from Parallels concerning VMs on the M1

https://www.parallel... ... licon-mac/

Spoiler: "It is important to note that currently available versions of Parallels® Desktop for Mac cannot run virtual machines on Apple M1 Mac computers. Good news: A new version of Parallels Desktop for Mac that can run on Apple M1 is already in active development. "


I note that they're not explicitly mentioning Windows VMs in that release, but that's the understanding, right?
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#9 Janichsan

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:08 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 10 November 2020 - 01:58 PM, said:

If you go to the product page for the new Macs you can click the "see how M1 redefines speed" button to get actual graphs of the new M1 mini vs the old Intel one. Definitely still wait for 3rd party benchmarks, but much better seeing the graphs then just hearing their marketing speak about its better then some mystery top selling PC.

For graphics, Apple is claiming a 4x GPU increase in SotTR for the M1 over the HD 630 graphics that were in the Mac Mini previously.
Well, I would be more interested to see how it fares against competitors' products. And being faster than last-gen Intel iGPUs is a low bar to clear.

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#10 jos

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:14 PM

Those new Macs seem to be absolutely amazing. Already I've got too many Macs lying around everywhere and the latest one is still brand-new. Still, I want one one these M1 Macs. I'm very excited.
PC guy at the end of the event was just incredible. What a surprise and so funny. It completely blew my mind.

People often complain about Apple and say: "If Steve was still alive... bla, bla, bla... he'd be ashamed, etc." Well, in my opinion he would've been proud if he were able to see today's live-stream. At the end of the day, just like Herbert, he'd think: "Today was a good day."



How the Hell do you embed a video on this forum?

Edited by the Battle Cat, 10 November 2020 - 04:58 PM.
Fixed it for you, edit your post and look at the tag


#11 Janichsan

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:21 PM

Quote

How the Hell do you embed a video on this forum?
WIth the "media" tags. You might have to change the URL from https to http, though.


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#12 jos

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:28 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 10 November 2020 - 02:21 PM, said:

WIth the "media" tags. You might have to change the URL from https to http, though.

So, that was the problem. I tried both video and media and both of them didn't work. Good to know I have to change the URL to http. Thanks.

#13 Cougar

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:44 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 10 November 2020 - 01:55 PM, said:

Interesting were the inclusion of WiFi 6 and USB/TB 4, and the battery lifetimes. Even taking the usual 20% Apple bullpopsnizzle margin into account, these sound quite impressive.


It's listed as Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4. Not sure if it matters. Even after reading this, I am confused.

There are also some strange Mini downgrades. No 32 GB of RAM option or 10 GB Ethernet, and half the amount of Thunderbolt ports.

#14 Janichsan

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 02:50 PM

View PostCougar, on 10 November 2020 - 02:44 PM, said:

It's listed as Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4. Not sure if it matters. Even after reading this, I am confused.
Yeah, it's confusing as hell, even if you take all the different USB 4 versions into account. TB4 is actually just TB3 with additional USB4 support.

EDIT: Nah, wait. The latter is not really correct. There's a bit more to TB4 on closer inspection. This is really a mess...

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#15 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 03:29 PM

View PostCougar, on 10 November 2020 - 02:44 PM, said:

There are also some strange Mini downgrades. No 32 GB of RAM option or 10 GB Ethernet, and half the amount of Thunderbolt ports.

I expect this is due to some limitations with the new chip, specifically with how the chip communicates with its IO. All 3 new Apple Silicon macs max out at 16GB RAM.

They likely have an M1X or something similar in the pipeline for the iMac and 16" MBP that will have more RAM support, more CPU/GPU cores, and more IO support.

Also, eGPU's are NOT supported with the new Apple Silicon macs
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#16 Matt Diamond

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 03:38 PM

Does that huge round white UFO room actually exist??

Between this and AMD's recent news, not a good week for Intel.

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#17 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 04:34 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 10 November 2020 - 03:38 PM, said:

not a good week for Intel.

I was thinking the same thing. The whole keynote was basically taking a huge popsnizzle on Intel without actually naming them. Granted - Intel's much improved Tiger Lake chips were not compared against the M1 chip, which would have been a much closer comparison - but still not a good look for Intel. Tiger Lake is Intel finally releasing what the had originally touted as coming in 2016.
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#18 Homy

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 04:59 PM

4x faster in Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Testing conducted by Apple in October 2020 using preproduction Mac mini systems with Apple M1 chip, and production 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3-based Mac mini systems with Intel Iris UHD Graphics 630, all configured with 16GB of RAM and 2TB SSD. Tested with Shadow of the Tomb Raider 1.0.1 using the built-in benchmark, at 1920x1080 resolution, with medium settings.

#19 Matt Diamond

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 05:23 PM

Brad Oliver points out that the M1 Mini lost two thunderbolt ports and downgraded the ethernet from 10GB to 1GB (not a big deal for most people, plus Wifi6 arguably more useful.) Worse: it maxes out at 16GB RAM.

So the Mini seems to be pulling back from being Pro-level, hence the price drop. Maybe making room in the lineup for a mid-range Mac Pro? :-P

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#20 nick68k

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Posted 10 November 2020 - 09:19 PM

Incidentally, if, like me, you were following today's announcements via live blog, it's worth watching the presentation on Apple's site. If nothing else, it's neat to see the shots inside Apple Park. And the presentation itself looks reassuringly expensive, naturally.
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